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Shaw, Star Market drivers are on strike; the company said it would resume negotiations

SOUTH PORTLAND, Maine – Truck drivers for Shaw’s supermarkets, represented by Teamsters, went on strike on Monday, stopping shipments to Shaw’s and Star Market grocery stores in New England.

Drivers are supplying brackets to more than 100 supermarkets in the region, said Joe Picone, a business agent for Teamsters Local 340 in South Portland. Fruits, vegetables and refrigerated items are processed by a separate facility in Methuen, he said. Drivers do not strike there.

“No one wants to strike,”

; Picone said of the 70 pilots and mechanics represented by Teamsters, who have been working without a contract since October. “These guys say they have a great offer for us, but the lawyer who works for the company has left.”

Shaw said in a statement that the parties will return to the negotiating table this week, and the company remains “committed to reaching an agreement that recognizes the enormous value our associates place on our company’s current and future success.”

“We look forward to our employees returning to work this week,” a spokesman said. “We are prepared for this labor dispute and will continue to serve our stores with our regularly scheduled deliveries.”

Shaw’s parent company did not respond to requests for comment. Shaw’s and Star Market are owned by Albertsons Cos., One of the largest food and drug retailers in the United States, which also owns Acme and Safeway, among other supermarket chains. According to the company’s latest annual report and the grocery store websites, there are 21 Star Market stores and 55 Shaw’s stores in Massachusetts.

Workers strike at 205 Spencer Drive in Wales, Maine, at the Shaw Distribution Center. Managers of grocery stores in several locations in Shaw’s and Star Market in Massachusetts said they were not authorized to talk to the press about whether the strike affected supplies or what types of items could be delayed.

Picone said the dispute was a slap in the face to drivers who worked during the pandemic to ensure people had enough food. Meanwhile, the company is winning during the pandemic, he said.

“They kept the store shelves in the shops,” he said. “The pandemic gain these boys have made is completely insane.”

Anisa Gardizi of the Globe staff contributed to the report.

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